Thank you to all the dialogue participants this week for a really
fascinating look at the world of women and girls in science. I especially
appreciated contributions from teachers who shared experiences of gender
equity in the classroom, and the voices of women working internationally.
Your insights into the complex issues we face bridged the local and global
issue of equity in access to education, career choices and leadership in
science, math and technology.
For young women to successfully engage in active learning in science, math
and technology, they need adult support and guidance, an education that is
infused with gender equitable teaching, and clear pathways to success. At
an early age, girls need to participate in classroom and community projects
that offer a way for them to "try on" different roles, share their talents,
and gain new skills in "real-world" settings. Particularly as girls and
young women transition between middle school, high school, higher
education, and life, we need to build confidence with genuine faith in
their future success.
Recently in an article published about CyberSisters in ENC Focus magazine,
I shared some practical strategies that we have learned through the
mentoring program we offer in Oregon. I wanted to add those to the final
discussion this week as suggestions of how we can all make a difference in
the future lives of women in science.
Strategies for Increasing Girls' Success in Science, Math, and Technology
* Provide avenues for girls to develop their interests.
* Allow girls to determine their own strengths.
* Expose girls to different modes of learning, including hands-on
exploration and project-oriented opportunities.
* Assess girls' computing environment at home and school to ensure equity
* Engage girls by encouraging collaboration and cooperation.
* Support women staff members in science, math, and computer education.
* Help girls connect to female role models who exemplify real situations
and career paths.
* Teach new skills that are applicable to girls' interests, and incorporate
their enthusiasm for different science topics into the curriculum.
* Encourage girls to use their computer skills to be creative and to
customize their learning.
* Provide ways for girls to demonstrate or teach their skills to others.
* Nominate girls for higher-level classes, opportunities, and leadership.
* Expect success and achievement from girls in science, math, and computer
Thank you for your thoughtful discussions. Go out and do good work for
girls and women!
Program Director, CyberSisters
"Connecting Girls to the Future of Science, Math and Technology Through
On the Web at http://www.cyber-sisters.org
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